HAPPY 4th OF JULY AMERICA!!! HOLY COW!!! WE HAVE HAD RECORD HOT TEMPS!!!

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Happy 4th of July America…and to all of you!!!

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God Bless America!

I use the top photo often as it is by far my favorite flag picture…seeing our flag flying full, proud and free, on a horse that is flying proud and free, always takes my breath away!!! Happy 4th of July America…I hope you are celebrating with your families and with America today as we stop once again to wish our glorious country Happy Birthday! Now where is that cake? I want the frosting….

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Holy Cow!  We have had record hot temps with abnormally hotter than hot summer days and nights the last few weeks, it was 85 degrees outside at 11:30 at night. We climbed into the 108-110 degree range daily, for over a week and the humidity was incredibly stellar…we usually do not get much humidity here as we are in a dry climate area…however, this last week day or night it was humid. It was hard to breathe as the air was so heavy and hot. We have had a dry furnace breeze blowing since last Saturday all day long until sundown hits and then it quits and the hot humid air just hangs…suffocating and nasty hot.

I love saying “Holy Cow” as it reminds me of my Dad, who said it often and taught me the same:)

Last Tuesday and Wednesday night our bedroom was 90 degrees with 90% humidity…no air was moving outside, not even a fresh Juniper Canyon breeze blowing up the canyon drifting over us, cooling off our bedroom so we could sleep…it was dead calm and weirdly quiet outside. The crickets were not crickiting…is that a word? All I would occasionally hear was the annoying bull frog and he was not doing his usual hyped up over himself 8 second ribbits.  Most nights it would finally cool down to 75 degrees about 3:00 am, which is still very hot for us and for the nocturnal coyotes, owls and our deer, and all the various animals outside.

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With the hot temps the wheat is drying out and turning a golden amber color with a touch of burnt red. It is one of my favorite colors and I use it through out my house. Our landscape has turned from green grasses and weeds into dry fuel that would burn easy with a lightning strike. Both our barn cats have moved down from the hay loft to the cement aisle floors as it is cooler down there yet and close to their cold automatic water trough.

Two weeks ago it was 55-60 degrees…cloudy…windy…rainy…chilly! That was kind of weird for here too but we needed the rain so while I complained that I was tired of gray skies and tired of being chilly…the rain was welcome. We try to be tough and sleep in our bedroom every summer but I have an idea that we will be getting that new A/C unit installed this year specifically for our bedroom. We used to not mind the heat up here but the last years we have gotten spoiled by the air on the main floor and our basement floor.

Farmers utilize a team of 14 draft animals to harvest wheat.

As I mentally turn back the clock to the 1920’s through the 1990’s when we did not have air conditioning anywhere in the house….we survived and managed. My great-grandmother Anne Marie would probably tsk tsk me for being too hot and tell me to be a big girl now. It fits with the society we live in now…we feel we have to have all the conveniences to comfort us…but I know we can survive grumpily without them:) However…hmmm…when it is 85 degrees at night and a 110 during the day…we need lots of nice cool air to cool us off to sleep at night!

My hubby is from the southeast corner of the state…so was my Mom. We read in the paper today how the ranchers and farmers are struggling with drought conditions caused by not receiving adequate rain for several years. In turn this has caused the reservoirs to dry up. For the cattle rancher who depends on the water for the health of his livestock, and for their survival out on the high desert, many of the century old ranches have only one choice left and that is to sell off their herd or a large part of it. The price of hay will be prohibitive, if they can find it, and the cattle have to have water. I have ridden horseback out to gather cattle on the high desert between Jordan Valley and the base of the Steens and there is not much feed out there under normal circumstances. Today, I would imagine it looks pretty barren and very dry as far as the eye can see. The BLM is hauling water to the various animals of the high desert, the wild mustangs, the pronghorn antelope and etc.

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The green-gold irrigation that has fed the farmers ever since the irrigation was developed and run by the BLM is running out of water too.  If the farmer runs out of water to irrigate his crops, he can not grow his crops, including the hay crops to sell to the cattle ranchers to feed their cattle. The massive Owyhee Reservoir that we have boated on for years, will drop to a third full by August…the lowest it has been on record since it was created in the early 1930’s. That is incredible as this damn is 55 miles long and 450′ deep at the Glory Hole. Hearing of the Owyhee Reservoir being low, means dire circumstances, as the farmers and ranchers have relied on growing several crops per year to support their families and the world.

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They can not grow their crops without water, and if the ranchers can not water their cattle or feed them, then they have no choice but to sell their livestock, which puts their lifestyle at risk. When the family ranch is passed on to you by the generations before you, and during your watch, a historic drought happens that may cause you to sell off your cattle and your land with all the heritage that was passed on to you, you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. When your blood is flowing in the land down deep and you can touch the very earth that was homesteaded for you, you can feel the heritage that runs through your veins…it never goes away. I saw this first hand on some of the huge ranches we managed for the new owners…it was heartbreaking to watch the previous owners pack up their heritage and history. In my own way, I felt their pain and I understood. When I ride my horse out into the fields around us here, and I sit quietly, closing my eyes, I can hear the distant teams of horses plowing the dirt that I am currently standing on,  I can hear the long ago voices of the past and I know it is my Grandfather and his brothers…the echos of my heritage come to life in my heart for a few moments in a brief time warp……

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This last week there are fires on the Owyhee that have burned 44,000 since a lightning storm moved through the area on July 2. The BLM reports as I write this, the fire is 50% contained and under control.

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Due to the dry conditions during the summer of 2012, a million acres or 1500 square miles, burned in Malheur and Harney Country, from dry fuel and dry lightning. This year 33 square miles have already burned from dry fuel and lightning. And new fires broke out Sunday night in a very remote rugged area. The drought has brought the Treasure Valley to a halt, which is unheard of as the irrigated farms around the valley were prosperous and raised incredible crops. We have miles and miles of dry land wheat acres here to support our farms…learning about irrigation from WB, as he grew up with it and knows it well, shook this dry Eastern Oregon Cowgirl up a bit as I had no idea that a mere farm of a 100 acres could do better than we could with 1000’s of acres! The drought of 2013 has placed both the farmers and ranchers in a precarious place, they need assistance, rain after rain storm and they need grazing land to feed their cattle, such as CRP, while the farmer need water to grow their crops.

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My heart goes out to them…and to the desperation they must feel. The ranching and farming families that work the land depend on God and the weather, are a tough bunch, they have lots of strength and moxie and I am praying that God gives them even more strength and moxie right now to hang on and keep going…remember them in your prayers. It is not an easy life to live, this cowboying, cattle ranching life we have lived…it’s a rough and tough life. It’s not an easy life for the farmers either, who break up the soil, planting a tiny little seed in the dirt, while praying and trusting hard for the right amount of rain and good weather to bring it to fruition. Working long hours from sun up to well after dark, farm families work together to bring in the crop, and often the farm wife is serving up a late harvest meal at 10:00 at night, due to a break down right at quitting time. Tired or not the repair had to be figured out and fixed, so harvest would not be delayed the next morning, before heading home for dinner. I remember doing dishes by hand, drying them and putting them back into the cupboard at midnight, before I went to bed, so I would be organized to cook an early breakfast four hours later for my family.

As I write this, our temp today is 90 degrees and has cooled off some, but the air conditioner is still on. Our cool weather will last over the weekend but not for long as we are to have another high pressure system move in by Sunday and hotter than normal temps will return…and where is the phone number for the air conditioner business who can install air for our room? I am not sure why the weather is changing so much…but it is. The patterns we are in currently, are not what I remember as a kid here and certainly not what WB remembers in Vale where he grew up. It will affect all of us one way or another as our food supply will drop and the price of groceries will rise due to lack of produce…and no the price does not go to the farmer.  The drought will destroy some of the family farms and ranches which to me, is very sad as these agricultural based families have been growing food to feed the nation for over a 100 years and now their land is drying up, their cattle can not survive, the irrigated row crops will begin to dwindle, if they haven’t already. Their lives and livelihood are at stake and times are tough, but if anyone can get through this, it is the American Farmer and the American Livestock Rancher. We do know how to dig deep…and carry on with determination and courage…and I applaud them!

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Tonight as we celebrate our great nation’s birthday, remember our military and their families…and pray for America! Enjoy the fireworks…we do not do that part as we have to be careful of fire here. Eat lots of good food, we do that part:) Enjoy the company of your family and friends! Together we stand one nation under God with liberty and justice for all! God Bless The United States of America!

23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jonathan Caswell
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 08:34:53

    Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    HOT REBLOG FROM A HOT BLOGGER—SORRY–I’D FALLEN BEHIND ON CHECKING MY E-MAILS AND COULDN’T GET UP…TO DATE!

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 11, 2013 @ 05:06:07

      Morning and thank you so much for the re-blog and also your kind words:) Life has been spinning here with how our business has grown and we live talking custom cars and customers 24/7…spring through late fall is our harvest time as we travel often to various car shows…and it is also harvest time on the ranch so between running both, our lives are silly busy at times. And today is a catch up day as we went to Portland yesterday…almost 450 miles round trip.

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  2. godspoetbychoice
    Jul 08, 2013 @ 16:39:30

    Loved your photos! we too in Ontario, Canada are having the same weird weather. We experience hot humid weather for a few days and than the temp drops to 68 for a few days than it soars back up. I am especially frustrated because I have a lung infection and the hot humid weather is really kicking up my Asthma. I have been back and forth to the emergency wing of the hospital the last three night for extra treatments of ventolin and pulimacort masks to help my breathing I hope I don’t have to go again. I will keep the ranchers in my prayers we had a hay shortage last year and it was terrible. And there is nothing more terrifying to a farm owner than fire. take care

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 11, 2013 @ 04:53:25

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words about my photos:) I wonder if the weather everywhere is different? Gosh I’m sorry for the lung infection and how the weather pushes it into Asthma. I have never had that but I am prone to the croup, where you lose your voice and you sound like a frog…also bronchitis has raised it’s ugly head a few times..Mom would chase it out of here with a jar of Vicks Va-Po Rub:) When you farm or run a cattle ranch your lively hood depends totally on the weather and timing…it is scary at times as sometimes you are not sure if all will work together for the good of the ranch…but it does and God is good to all of us. Yes fires can be scary…we had a large one up in the mountains on the cattle ranch once…that was super scary as a few times the BLM told us we may have to move the horses out to the river and then evacuate ourselves. Bill used to fight fire for the BLM way back when he was in high school during the summers. Wheat fires are just as terrifying and it never fails to happen in the night…I have had a few moments out here where I thought I better pack up the things that are truly important to us…and I know I have some gray hair somewhere from those type of fires….although so far my hair dresser says she can not find any gray on my head…just red hair with strawberry blond from the sunshine.! Yeah!!! Have a wonderful day and weekend! Hugs and prayers coming your way too:)

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  3. singleworkingmomswm
    Jul 08, 2013 @ 10:54:06

    Hi, HRCW, I need to read this post, still, but I wanted to let you know I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! You can pick up the award and get the instructions on my last post. Love ya! XOXO-SWM

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 11, 2013 @ 04:39:19

      Thank you thank you and Good Morning:) Sorry I am behind but the first week or two of the month I am in the office making statements and paying bills. Hope your summer is going well, lots of beautiful peaceful days and overall a fun memorable summer for you and your daughter:) God Bless You and I just gave you a hug for thinking of me:)

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  4. Ajaytao2010
    Jul 06, 2013 @ 03:45:52

    I Nominate you for Bouquet of Super Awards – 27 Nominations

    please choose any 3 awards out of the 27
    accept it and oblige

    there are no linkbacks for this award

    http://ajaytao2010.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/bouquet-of-super-awards-27-nominations/

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  5. philosophermouseofthehedge
    Jul 05, 2013 @ 08:19:34

    You can post that flag carrying horse anytime – nothing more thrilling.
    Hope the water moderates and the fires calm. We are in the first stages of water rationing here…hoping that rain does come in from the Gulf. TX lakes and reservoirs are only 65% full.

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 05, 2013 @ 15:52:34

      I totally agree:) I love to see the flag flying high on the back of a horse:) So you too are experiencing the dry weather pattern…and drought. It is scary for the ranchers and farmers…I will pray for rains to come your way too:) Thank you for stopping in and dropping me a note:) Hugs, HRCG:)

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  6. emjayandthem
    Jul 05, 2013 @ 06:18:42

    That is one fantastic flag photo 🙂

    We are having the opposite weather here in MI — lots of rain and cooler temps.

    Think about being a pioneer back in the day, living in a sod house, with 8 or more kids and no electricity — no where to go to escape the heat, maybe a creek if it hadn’t dried up. And women wore long dresses with many layers! We’re of tough stuff, you and me, but I know this a/c loving prairie girl would suffer if I’d had to exist back then.

    Peace to you on this Holiday weekend and may you soon get a gentle cooling rain that benefits all concerned.

    Hugs!
    MJ

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 05, 2013 @ 15:49:53

      Thank you much and I agree…no matter how many times I see the flag flying and the horse flying, it takes my breath away and makes me proud!

      Oh I know it would have been awful but when you do not know any different it is amazing how we survive:) When we lived in Wyoming and managed a large cattle ranch there, the spring pastures were out on the high desert at the base of the Rocky Mountains, and very close to South Pass, which was the main route the settlers took over the Continental Divide. I loved going out to check fences or gather cattle or the best times were when Bill had something he had to do,so I would journal, think and imagine.I could envision what the wives and families would have felt finally getting over the Rockies only to find a high desert to cross with the Wyoming Mountain range now in front of them…and the Sawtooth Mountain range off to their right and the Utah Mountains off to the left….and yet they dug deep and kept going…wow! Cold weather, wind, snow, rain, sunshine…no matter they kept going on! I do know that if we had been born back then, we would have done great MJ as we are tough from growing up on the farm and back then we would not have heard of AC…but..I know what you mean as the very thought of long dresses with layers of material and the shoes did not have support…oh my it would have been so different from life today in 2013. I did write a paper on what I saw and experienced at the base of South Pass…sometimes I can visually see what I am writing about and I can imagine the voices speaking…I think it is that creative part of writing:)

      Wishing you a happy peaceful and restful weekend too and sending hugs to you:) Big Hug, HRCG

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  7. onespoiledcat
    Jul 05, 2013 @ 03:24:32

    Beautiful photos as always of your wide open spaces…..hope you had a good 4th! We finally had a sunny day after days and days of rain – wish we could have sent some out west where it’s SOOOOOOO much needed. I always think of the farmers and livestock who suffer in drought conditions and in the amazing heat of summer keeping eyes to the skies for sign of some relief. It’s heartbreaking. Hopefully this weather pattern will change for the better for all of us. Meanwhile, hope you get that bedroom AC! Nothing like a cool night’s sleep in the dead of summer.

    Hugs, Pam (and Sammy)

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 05, 2013 @ 15:33:37

      Thank you as always for your encouraging words and thoughts…yes they need the rains in the southern part of Oregon in the area where WB grew up. We actually did a day trip down to Vale yesterday and seeing the signs of drought in person was hard to see. The farming area around Vale and Ontario has been called The Treasure Valley for years as the soil with the irrigation grows phenomenal crops for the farmers…and while the Owyhee Desert and places like the Alvord, and around Jordan Valley do dry up during the summer months,the ranchers have had water to fill the watering tanks or holes for their cattle and the BLM helps with that…plus they have had adequate range land to graze on by rotating the herds around. While I have seen the dry areas in the middle of summer, hearing of the man made damn called “The Owyhee” on the verge of drying up knocks my socks off! The damn is 55 miles long and 450 feet deep. My Mom remembered when it was completed in the 1930’s and somewhere I have a picture of her with her friends posing on the newly opened damn…and I boated forever with Bill’s family on the Owyhee as it was one of my most favorite places to go. Hardly any people, incredible scenery that changes through the day with various shadows and colors on the rocks…the incredible formations of rock make you feel like you were in the Grand Canyon! The Owyhee Reservoir and the Owyhee Desert are beautiful to see and with their vast lands, they are to be respected. I am praying for rain for all the farmers and ranchers in that area. We have had lots of rain this year so far but the incredible heat the last few weeks was very abnormal for us…and the humidity is completely unheard of here…we are very dry here in Eastern Oregon. But Portland has humidity on the Western side of Oregon. Wishing you a wonderful peaceful night and lots of hugs for you and Sammy:)

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  8. Teepee12
    Jul 04, 2013 @ 22:34:16

    Wish we could send you some of our rain, but we have the same temps. 105 in Boston the other day … and it’s right on the water, so it’s usually cooler because of shore breezes. Strange days. Love your pictures and stories. I feel like I’ve been there and met these people.

    And speaking of weather … are we still debating global weather changes? We’re getting tornadoes. Tornadoes. In New England.

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 04, 2013 @ 22:52:08

      Thank you so much and for your support:) Me too wishes you could send me the ocean breezes:) The last weeks have been so incredibly weird with the hot hot hot weather and the humidity…crazy off the norm. I would love to have some of those ocean shore breezes:) As right now tonight it is hot again but with a slight breeze though not enough…ugh! I have to wonder about the weather as it has changed here so much and tornados where you live is weird freaky and odd…so far we have not had one here but we have had them 200 miles from us the last few years…again freaky! So sometimes I wonder about global weather changing?

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  9. peacelovegreatcountrymusic
    Jul 04, 2013 @ 22:33:34

    I live on a farm and a combine in a wheat field is always so striking. I feel terrible for those going through drought, we have been powerless to it for years and I can sympathize. We are grateful that so far our tobacco and corn are bountiful, although the wheat is still being cut and soybeans are then late getting planted. It’s in the 60’s here tonight, this time last year it was 105 degrees. We always pray for rain and good weather for all that need it.

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 04, 2013 @ 22:44:25

      Thank you:) Yes we rely on weather and God’s grace when it comes to farming the land. We never know when we plant that small seed if it will make it and produce or fail. Having lived on the farm forever and knowing both about farming and raising cattle…the market can be crazy…but we are farmers and ranchers…so we keep on a going:) I would love to see your fields of soybeans, wheat, corn and tobacco…would be interesting to see…do you have irrigation or is it dry land? I am with you in prayer for all farmers and for all their crops:) Thank you so much for sharing and for stopping in:)

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  10. Playamart - Zeebra Designs
    Jul 04, 2013 @ 21:47:22

    That is a thundering flag for sure! The summer heat, the drougth, the fires are so scary. yes, farmers and ranchers work hard, and it’s always a gamble from the time the seed is put in the ground until the harvest gets those crops out of the field.

    May July be good to you and your loved ones. z

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 04, 2013 @ 22:29:56

      Thank you much:) Yes ranching and farming is to me based on “faith” and “hope”…I watched my Dad and also my uncles, and I saw their humanity in their decisions and in their lives. God Bless and take care….wishing you a wonderful July too:)

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